After watching Jon Stewart's interview with Mike Huckabee last night, I wondered something, and thought that I would ask a question. ?
Has your pregnancy bolstered or weakened your pro-choice position? ?
Personally, I am more strongly pro-choice than I ever have been before, and I wanted to share something that I wrote with you all. ?
What follows is a note I wrote on FB two weeks ago.?
The Private is Public is Personal is PoliticalSo, in my current state, I have noticed that my body is now in the public domain. And, while I'm sure I invite some of it, what with my "how am I doing today" updates, it has gotten me thinking. Thinking about how as my pregnancy moves on, how my body will become less of my own, with strangers manhandling me in public, culminating in the birth, the most public, personal, private event I will probably ever have. Isn't it funny how you say the word "pregnant," and immediately discussion goes to "trying," birth control (or lack thereof), constipation, huge boobs, vomit, hemorrhoids, stretch marks, and pooping on the delivery table. And don't even talk to me about the tabloids, taking pictures of women (who either had a big lunch or just didn't make the right pants decision that morning), circling their abdomens with a caption that reads "BUMP?" When else in a human's life (when they are out of diapers) is it okay to talk this much - in public forums - regarding such personal issues?
And, maybe because of the murder of Dr. George Tiller happened while I'm pregnant, I began thinking about the issue of abortion. I have always been staunchly pro-choice (like, since I was 12), and this pregnancy has only made me more so. I still thank God every single day that I have been given the choice to have this baby, and that I have never had to make the choice otherwise. While my pregnancy hasn't been a basket of kittens, it has not been nearly as bad as some women's, and I couldn't even imagine being forced by the government to go through this insanity.?
An ongoing debate that I have been having with a former classmate, who is male, regarding this issue has really made me realize that there is nothing like any issue dealing with pregnancy to drag a woman's naked body into the public sphere and dissect it like a frog in 9th grade biology class. And what else is fascinating, is that there is no issue that puts men's bodies on the frontline of political warfare the way that women's are in issues of reproductive rights, so we cannot give them the comparison of what this private publicity is like.
We discuss issues about rape, incest, viability, selective reduction, like they're playing cards. We forget that each of the issues is a painful, personal, and private experience that women are having every day in this country, and the decision to terminate a pregnancy is the most difficult and painful one that a woman will have to make.?
I used to think, after moving my desk into a circle, discussing Roe v. Wade in countless Women's Studies seminars, that it was a mistake for Sarah Weddington to use the right to privacy as an argument for Jane Roe. But now that I'm on the other side of the issue, as a pregnant woman, and not a sassy young feminist diceminating every word of obscure feminist texts, I see why it makes sense. At this time in my life, I am feeling my most private, yet my body is going through changes that will make my private life very public, that will make strangers want to touch me, talk to me, ask me questions about my body. Sometimes I would just rather things be between me and my husband and my doctor. When an issue as personal as the decision to carry a pregnancy to term becomes a political football, it becomes okay to tear women's lifestyles, sex lives, reproductive decisions, and morality apart.?
Pregnancy makes it okay to publicly fondle us, eviscerate us on the news, kill our doctors, and make decisions about our bodies for us. Pregnancy is the private turned public, and the personal turned political.?
I had always heard that motherhood was the hardest job in the world... I just didn't know that it started so early...?
And to the anti-choice bumpies out there, I have already been called pro-murder, a baby killer, and compared to Hitler. ?This is my opinion, my body, and nothing you say can change that, and nothing you do will stop me from fighting. ?
Making It Work.
My sweet Bean born 1/9/10